Don’t you hate those clickbait articles that have a really catchy headline, then make you read three pages before they tell you the “one simple trick,” and it turns out to be really dumb? Let’s not make this one of those articles.
The Trick is to Send a Thank You Note
I started my company SCOTTeVEST about 15 years ago, and since then I’ve hired a lot of people. Almost every single one of them – and all major contractors – interviewed with me.
Within my company, I have a bit of a reputation of wanting to hire everyone I interview. Maybe it’s because people who are interviewing for a job are on their best behavior, and I perceive that behavior as the minimum I can expect from them every day to follow.
While my team may have a more realistic view of an interviewee’s long-term capabilities than I get from a first impression, there is something we all agree on: we don’t hire ANYONE who doesn’t send a thank you note.
It’s the Thought that Counts
Email is great. Handwritten is fine, too (but the slow speed of mail is a negative). If you can make a carrier pigeon work (or a raven, for fellow Game of Thrones fans), I would even accept that.
When it comes to thank you notes following an interview, it is the thought – and then the act – that matters more than the method.
You ARE Being Judged
When someone comes in for a job interview, the interviewer may only have 4 or 5 data points about the interviewee. A resume, cover letter, perhaps a phone call or email thread, and at SCOTTeVEST, the results from some candidate screening tests.
That’s not a lot to go on before an interview, so why not add a “final impression” that you have complete control over? That’s exactly what a thank you note is. You get the last word, and while you shouldn’t be flowery in your prose, know that if your last impression contains typos or grammar errors… well, it might be your last impression ever.
Think of a thank you note as your encore to a performance. You may have left the stage, but you get right back into the spotlight for one more chance to impress the audience.
Timing is Everything
Pecking out a quick, “thanks for the interview, really liked meeting you,” from the parking lot before the interview seat is cold is probably too immediate of a reply for most companies. I thrive on urgency, and that seems a little too quick to me.
Just be sure to send a thank you note the same day that you interviewed, or at the very latest, the next morning.
The Common Denominator
I have employees of all types, personalities and skills. One thing they all have in common: they sent a thank you note after their interview. 100% of them.
You won’t find this as a rule for qualification/disqualification in any publicly available corporate handbook, but I guarantee it is something that every good HR manager notices. Whether you are the only candidate, or whether there are 13 other interviews following yours, sending a thank you note is the most effective way to triple your chances of landing a job from an interview.
You do NOT want to be the one person who interviewed and did not follow-up. Likewise, you DO want to be the person who gave their interviewer one more piece of data… one more check in the “good” column… when it comes time to decide who gets the job.
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ABOUT SCOTT JORDAN and SCOTTeVEST
Scott Jordan is the CEO and Founder of SCOTTeVEST, which creates multi-pocket clothing designed to carry electronics. He is the author of Pocket Man: The Unauthorized Autobiography of a Passionate, Personal Promoter.
Read a sample of Scott’s book for more about his experience on Shark Tank and the pocket empire he has built.